updated 10/24/2007 9:42:34 PM ET 2007-10-25T01:42:34

Mattel Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert A. Eckert said Wednesday that the world’s largest toy maker has “significantly increased” spot testing and other safety protocols after the recall of more than 20 million products made in China.

“Trust can be earned and can be lost. Building credibility and trust takes time but can be dissolved in an instant,” the father of four told hundreds of executives gathered for an annual Business for Social Responsibility conference. “When my children say, ’Dad, trust me,’ I always respond, ’deeds, not words.’ I believe that also applies to business.”

More than 21 million toys made in China — from Baby Einstein Discover & Play Color Blocks from Kids II Inc., to Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway by RC2 Corp. — have been found to contain excessive levels of lead paint, tiny magnets that could be swallowed or other potentially serious problems. El Segundo-based Mattel has been at the center of the recall wave, with more than 20 million affected products.

Eckert described Mattel’s new “three-point check system” meant to ensure that toys with excessive levels of lead paint don’t end up in the hands of consumers.

The system requires all paint to be tested before the manufacturing process begins, and it applies to every vendor, contractor, subcontractor and paint storage facility. Mattel also banned contractors from outsourcing work to other locations, he said.

The company established a consumer call center dedicated to the recalls and has communicated with at least 6 million people by phone and e-mail. It’s sent out 5 million mailing labels so people can return recalled products.

Eckert also created a new “corporate responsibility organization” overseeing product quality, labor standards and sustainability. Mattel is working on “viable recycling options” for the recalled toys and their containers, he said.

Eckert stopped short of saying the recalls would never be repeated, emphasizing that “no business enterprise is perfect.” He also described the controls as “evolutionary, not revolutionary.”

But he said the company’s beefed-up protocols weren’t simply to placate frightened customers; they were also meant for Wall Street.

“If you’d have asked me 10 years ago, I’d have said our role ... is to earn a return on capital to make money,” Eckert said. “Today I’ve become evangelical about fact that making money and doing good are complementary, not conflicting. It’s a responsibility.”

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